On the day that the Tory government introduced a load of welfare cuts that will end up condemning 250,000 British kids to poverty the Labour opposition announced a policy of providing free school meals to all state school pupils.
The Tories and the hard-right press were apoplectic with rage at the idea of making sure that all school kids are well fed enough to concentrate on their work, but there was no such right-wing condemnation of the brutal welfare cuts that were introduced on the very same day.
The Tory cuts
Not only will the Tory welfare cuts end up impoverishing some 250,000 British kids, they’re also snatching money from the working poor, the disabled and families that have suffered bereavement. The Tory excuses for this are utterly lamentable. They claim that these cuts will help to reduce the deficit, but at the very same time they’re introducing income tax cuts that will mainly benefit the already wealthy.
Snatching money from Snatching money from children, disabled people, the working poor and bereaved families in order to redistribute it to the well-to-do is appalling behaviour from any kind of moral perspective, but it’s also a display of shocking economic illiteracy. The poor spend almost all of their income which boosts aggregate demand and creates wealth, while the super rich are much more likely to save any extra income, or even extract it from the economy entirely by stuffing it into tax havens.
If you have any sense of morality whatever, or the slightest bit of economic literacy it’s obvious that yet another huge redistribution of wealth from the poor to the very rich is an appalling idea, but that’s precisely what the Tory government have just done, and right-wingers are out in force to make excuses for.
Labour’s free school meals policy
Labour’s free school meals policy is good evidence based stuff. Labour developed their policy based on evidence based research from free school meals pilot schemes in Newham and Durham. The results showed that had a significant positive impact on attainment for primary school pupils at Key Stages 1 and 2 (ages 7 and 11). Pupils in the pilot areas made between four and eight weeks’ more progress than similar pupils in comparison areas.
the study also found that the positive effects of free school meals only really occurred when the scheme was universal, rather than simply targeted at the poorest kids.
On the face of it it’s difficult to imagine how it’s possible to object to a policy designed to ensure that no kids are so starving hungry that they can’t concentrate on their schoolwork, but the Tories and the right-wing press have managed to furiously object to this policy on the very same day that they’re condemning a further 250,000 British kids to poverty.
An official Tory spokesperson resorted the the same pathetic trope that the Tories are economically competent in order to attack the free school meals policy saying that “Labour would wreck the economy if they ever got back into government … which means this promise isn’t worth the paper it’s written on”. This criticism is a staggering display of hypocrisy from a party that has created more new public debt since 2010 than every single Labour government in history combined, and insists on making the situation ever worse by relentlessly repressing workers’ wages and deliberately redistributing more and more wealth from the poor and ordinary (who spend their cash) to the super-rich (who stuff it into tax havens).
The Tories are on an ideological mission to transfer as much wealth as possible to the super-rich minority who totally bankroll their party, and they don’t care how many children they’re going to condemn to poverty in order to do it. What is worse is that they actually have the gall to attack Labour for trying to ensure all kids are well fed enough to concentrate on their schoolwork on the very same day they’ve introduced these savage welfare cuts in order to hand another load of tax breaks to the already wealthy.
As far as the Tories are concerned there are any number of excuses for condemning huge numbers of kids to poverty, but they become apoplectic with rage that anyone would dare to try to make sure that kids have enough to eat so they can do better at school.